Summerfruit NZ chair, Tim Jones, has announced that he will stand down at the forthcoming Annual General Meeting in June. He has been on the Summerfruit NZ Board since 2009 and took on the chairmanship role following the 2016 AGM in Queenstown.
My involvement with Summerfruit NZ spans nearly 13 years and I sincerely believe that it's time for new ideas and fresh thinking. In fact I encourage Summerfruit NZ to have a think about Board tenure and succession, and take the opportunity to get some younger people involved. My focus will be on my own business, which is vital in these times, and of course to spend more time with my family.
Thinking about the highlights of my involvement with the organisation, I'd include the passionate people working for a better future for growers, the successful renewal of the commodity levy during challenging times (considering the direction of the industry) and seeing Apricot Co finally getting to launch stage.
In terms of the future... I hope that the current collaboration among growers and sectors continues. Data, data, data – the willingness of growers to share data so that Summerfruit NZ can continue to advocate on their behalf has been vital this season. In addition, I'm hoping for a frost-free spring, rain-free cherry season, plentiful seasonal workers and a strong market!
I will end with my thanks to all the Summerfruit NZ staff and fellow Directors for their support to me and the industry as a whole, and to my family and people at 45 South for allowing me to spend so much time away from home, knowing the work on the orchard will still get completed.